Memoirs of a Student in May 1968: The Flow of Demonstrations and the Protagonist of the Event

By Jacques Guilhaumou


This paper is an excerpt of my unpublished memoirs of May 1968, when I was a history student at the University of Nanterre. They were written during the academic movement of 2009, where a series of street demonstrations during several weeks were the backbone of collective action. The paper deals with the cycle of demonstrations in 1968 which enabled me not to remain a spectator of the event and to become one of its protagonists. I stress the meetings with other people and the dimension of concrete utopia which emerges thanks to the collective commitment to a thought within an emancipation movement. I even consider it as a type of permanent revolution, which is a position quite opposed to the usual comments on the obsolete character of the ideology of the 68ers, and I think it reemerged in the following decades, including the movement of 2009. In my own way, I am thus a witness of something that exists in the human nature, speaking in the name of mankind acting and suffering in a permanent way, thus of a social ontology of the event of 68.


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